'Shrinking' Keeps Up Its Run Of Sick Cliffhangers, And Tosses In More Gut-Punch Reveals In The Latest Episode "Apology Tour"
That's right, the actor who plays Roy Kent in Ted Lasso, Brett Goldstein, happens to be a co-creator of Shrinking alongside Bill Lawrence and Jason Segel...and he wrote a total knockout episode this week.
I fancy myself a pretty rampant consumer of entertainment/media/storytelling. Definitely more of a movie guy and I spent three years of my life up to my eyeballs reading plays. For whatever reason, it feels like Shrinking has mastered the art of the cliffhanger. The latest one is a bombshell to end all bombshells that is, like, so twisted and is guaranteed to make you cringe.
SPOILER ALERT FROM HERE ON OUT...
ICYMI, the intro to the show I wrote a while back:
OK so as I covered in last week's post, the cliffhanger there was Jimmy and Gaby starting to hook up. That shit was crazy enough. Then, the newest episode begins with the awkward morning-after situation wherein they're trying to play it off like nothing happened.
Stoned To The Bone Harrison Ford crashed at Jimmy's house as well, and coerces a confession about the hookup out of Jimmy that morning. It's the stinger right before the intro song/theme, and let me tell you, Shrinking consistently crushes it when it comes to putting a button on that sequence every time. This is my personal favorite so far from near the beginning:
Speaking of Liz's husband, Derek, he gets a little more time to shine in "Apology Tour" and drops this bomb on his wife about how when he retires after grinding at his job for so many years, he's going to enjoy his time at home.
This brings about an unexpected dog walk featuring Sean and Liz, where the former describes the awkward aftermath of when Alice tried to kiss him. There was a scene right before that with Sean and Alice where she tries and fails to initiate a hangout to cheer Sean up since he had a job interview that didn't go so well. Point being, all this sets up those supporting characters for some pretty rich resolutions during the final few episodes.
"Apology Tour" is the newest episode's title because Jimmy is trying to smooth over the fact that he threw up all over the piano to sabotage his best friend Brian's (ultimately successful) proposal. Once again the father-daughter dynamic is strained and tense. But I gotta say, the MVP of this newest Shrinking 'sode is Paul, played by Harrison Ford.
(That GIF was from last week. As I said, stoned to the bone. Workshopping a catchphrase here).
There's a moving scene Paul and his daughter Meg dance together to pull the audience in. You can see Paul clinging to the moment, thinking about all the lost time they could've had over the years. Meg comes to town to take charge of his care after learning of his Parkinson's diagnosis.
Meg offers Paul the chance to move in with her and her family. The acting job Harrison Ford does here is seriously incredible. With just the expressions on his face, you can see him rapid-fire cycle through the entire rest of his life in his head. He realizes pretty much right away that this isn't what he really wants. It guts him to tell Meg this. As you might infer, she does not take it well at all.
I'm telling you, this might be the episode that nets the acting legend Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. Absolutely killer chops at 80 years young by Harrison Ford. This man is still out here putting in exceptional work — some of the best of his career in fact.
OH BUT WE'RE NOT DONE. Gaby reveals how she had an imagined "heart to heart" with her best friend and Jimmy's wife Tia. As was revealed in the first episode, Tia died in a car accident about a year prior. Per Paul's assessment, Jimmy hasn't acknowledged his grief and instead numbed it with vices, which has led to him intervening way too much in his patients' lives.
So on Gaby's suggestion, Jimmy decides to have a "talk" with Tia after one false start earlier on. He's speaking to a picture of Tia on a nightstand, and confesses to sleeping with Gaby…
Alice is right there in the doorway.
Yup. She heard that. Now Alice will never look at Gaby or her father the same way again. All that counsel that Gaby gave to her about Sean? Any goodwill is out the window in this moment.
Shrinking blends comedy and heavy drama as well as anything I've seen in a long time. The entire cast is incredible. Such excellently-executed writing and direction. For those of you who get to binge this show after the fact, I'm a little jealous. I try not to replicate words in headlines as much as possible, but in this instance, it's unavoidable. Four straight banger cliffhangers isn't an accident. I'm shook by Shrinking in the best way. Can't continue to recommend the Apple TV+ series highly enough.